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Fascist France become first country in world to ban pro-Palestine demonstrations


Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to the streets of Paris on Sunday. France's socialist government has sparked uproar after it banned protests against Israeli action in Palestine

* Move follows violence at protests in Paris last weekend

* Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said there was a 'threat to public order'

* Thousands across France were set to march again this weekend

* Anyone who breaks the ban faces a year in prison and a 15,000 euro fine.

* If they hide their faces the sentence can be increased to three years jail, and a 45,000 euro fine

France's Socialist government provoked outrage today by becoming the first in the world to ban protests against Israeli action in Palestine.

In what is viewed as an outrageous attack on democracy, Socialist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said mass demonstrations planned for the weekend should be halted.

Mr Cazeneuve said there was a 'threat to public order', while opponents said he was 'criminalising' popular support of the Palestinian people.

Thousands were set to march against the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, calling for an immediate end to hostilities in which civilians including many children have been killed.

Heart - Black

Israel bombs el-Wafa hospital to rubble as staff evacuates all patients

gaza hospital bombed

el Wafa Hospital, struck by missile on July 11
The Israeli military has destroyed el-Wafa rehabilitation hospital in the Gaza Strip, after first targeting the facility with five missiles on July 11, 2014. The Israeli military began striking the building around 8:00 pm this evening [July 17] and within two hours all hospital staff and patients had evacuated the only rehabilitation center in the Gaza Strip. As they departed what remained intact from the medical center burned to the ground.

"It's already destroyed," said Basman Alashi, director of el-Wafa, continuing, "I don't know how much is left of it, but we have evacuated all of our patients. We lost power, there was a fire in the building."

Alashi spoke to me via telephone from his house in Gaza, unable to cross the Israeli shelling to reach the hospital. "I left the hospital at seven and within two hours they had bombed the hospital." Shells hit every floor of the building, and a fire spread throughout.

After the Israeli army began striking the hospital, Alashi and el-Wafa's 25 nurses made desperate arrangements to relocate the last 17 patients. Many of those in el-Wafa's care are paralyzed and are connected to oxygen support. Some of the nurses left the building to seek help, braving Israeli fire on the streets in order to track down an ambulance with an oxygen tank.

Comment: But only the 'terrorists' are targets right?


Fire contained at Canada Green Giant vegetable plant

© Katia Augustin/CBC News
A fire that ripped through a Bonduelle S.C.A. (BON) food-processing plant in southern Ontario containing thousands of pounds of ammonia has been contained and an evacuation order lifted, a town official said.

"The fire is active but under control," Tony Haddad, chief administration officer for Tecumseh, a town of about 25,000 people 21 kilometers (13 miles) east of Detroit, said by phone. "Things are looking better."

Piggy Bank

Continuing rot in the US economy


Eric Sprott
While most have been conveniently blaming the tepid first quarter -2.9% GDP growth figure on the weather, we believe that it is just another symptom of a much deeper malaise. As we have argued many times before (see, for example, the March 2014 Markets at a Glance), the U.S. economy has been on life support, graciously provided by Central Planners. However hard they try, they will soon realize that no amount of money printing can cleanse the rot of the U.S. economy.

Most tellingly, in a recent interview with Reuters, Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's Chief Executive Officer for the U.S., said that "We've reached a point where it's not getting any better but it's not getting any worse - at least for the middle (class) and down."1

Comment: Smoke & mirrors and the lies of the media presstitutes can only work for so long ...


Father of six dies after New York police place him in chokehold for selling untaxed cigarettes

© RawStory
A Staten Island man died Thursday after police placed him in a chokehold as they attempted to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes.

According to authorities, Eric Garner, 43, went into cardiac arrest and died at Richmond University Medical Center following the arrest that was filmed by several witnesses, the New York Daily News reported.

In the video, Garner can be seen telling police that he had not been selling cigarettes, repeatedly saying, " I didn't sell anything," before insisting, "I'm minding my own business, please leave me alone."

After a standoff, five officers tackled the 400-pound Garner - with one placing him in a chokehold - and wrestled him to the ground as they attempted to put handcuffs on him.

As Garner lay on the ground, with one officer pushing his head into the pavement, he can be heard saying, "I can't breath. I can't breath," over and over.

As the video ends, Garner appears to be unconscious as police clear onlookers while waiting awaiting paramedics.

Comment: See also:
  • NYPD Twitter campaign backfires, flooded with photos of police abuse
  • US is the Worst Police State in the World - By the Numbers

Star of David

Ex-soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces: "I've seen how shockingly we treat Palestinians"

IDF abuse
There are moral red lines. Why do we keep crossing them?

I only knew Gaza from the stories. It was the military zone for which the Givate Brigade was responsible, but we all knew the stories about how they managed to kill several militants in one ambush. Honestly, we were a bit jealous. I was drafted into the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) at the end of the Second Intifada into a special operations unit of the paratrooper brigade. From the start of my service I knew that Nablus and Jenin would be the areas for which we were responsible. Child's play, seemingly, compared to the stories that came out of Gaza - but my child's play. I'll never forget the first time that I was shot at, the first Palestinian corpse I ever saw, and the fear and adrenaline during my first military operation.

My first mission involved the seizure of a Palestinian home. I had never before had the opportunity to be inside a Palestinian home, and my squad was surprised for a moment by the fact that within the home lived an entire family - spanning three generations. We woke everyone up, and took over the house. We put everyone in one room - women, men, children, and the elderly. One of the guys was stationed at the door to ensure that they didn't get out. In the meantime, we took care of our business. I remember asking myself: what do they think about all of this? What would I do if soldiers broke into my home? But I immediately repressed these questions and carried on with the mission. As time passed, fear turned into boredom, adrenaline stabilized, and my doubts about the extent of the operational logic and its justification would return to gnaw at me. But the next day there were already new operations. This was our daily routine, and as a result, the next time I didn't really think about how the family whose home we entered felt. My personal red moral line blurred very quickly. Every time I would tell myself - this is still okay. But it's in the nature of red lines to move along an imaginary scale. I wasn't bothered when we destroyed entire homes during search operations, and when my squad accidentally shot an innocent woman, and we quickly buried the incident and moved on. Today I know that my ability to distinguish whether a particular action crosses the line, didn't really exist back then.

Arrow Up

Number of young adults who live with parents rising sharply

© Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times
More young adults are living with their parents or grandparents in multigenerational households, according to a Pew survey
More Americans than ever live in multigenerational households, and the number of millennials who live with their parents is rising sharply, according to a study released Thursday.

A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population, lived in multigenerational arrangements in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. That's more than double the 28 million people who lived in such households in 1980, the center said.

A multigenerational family is defined as one with two or more generations of adults living together.


Waves of refugees fleeing Central American gangs enter US, while Obama nowhere in sight

child immigrant US border
© Eduardo Verdugo—AP
A young girl from Honduras waits for a northbound freight train to depart in Mexico as she makes her way to the U.S. border
It's time to stop running away from the nation's troubles

The woman from Honduras was tiny and extremely pregnant. "When are you due?" asked Sister Norma Pimentel, the director of Catholic Charities in the Rio Grande Valley. "Ya," the woman replied in Spanish: "Already" - she was past due. She had left Honduras to save her daughter, who is 12 - peak poaching age for the killer gangs that are wreaking havoc in that country these days. "A man came into our house and tried to kill my girl with a machete," the woman said. "I stopped him." She showed Sister Norma her right hand, which was slashed down the middle and had healed crumpled. The man also slashed her daughter's arm, but they managed to fend him off. The woman paid a coyote to get herself and her daughter across the border as soon as possible.

It seems clear to Sister Norma - and to the hundreds of volunteers who staff her processing center on the grounds of the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas - that this summer's tide of Central Americans crossing the border are refugees, not immigrants. They have fled, terrified, from countries that are the Latino equivalent of Syria or Iraq - but in Central America it's anarchy, not religious fanaticism, they are fleeing, the rampaging of militant drug gangs. The refugees here are a lucky subset: they have verifiable family members in the U.S. The Border Patrol releases them to Sister Norma with bus tickets to the places where their families are living. Catholic Charities then provides a way station, a place to take a breath, take a shower and get a meal, new clothes and a medical exam. The center processes as many as 200 families a day. When a family arrives, the entire staff applauds. No doubt, Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh would be appalled, but when you see the relief and smiles and tears on the faces, which seem far more humble than menacing, you cannot help but be moved.

Treasure Chest

UK lord forced to apologize for flagrant misconduct: Lobbying parliamentarians on behalf of Cayman Islands

house of lords
© AFP Photo / Toby Melville
House of Lords in London
Conservative peer, Lord Blencathra, has apologized to the House of Lords for signing a contract under which he agreed to lobby both Houses of Parliament on behalf of Cayman Island government officials. The lucrative contract generated £12,000 per month.

The Standards Commissioner for the House of Lords ruled on Monday Blencathra had breached the Code of Conduct by which he was bound, and ordered the former Tory chief whip to apologize.

The Conservative peer subsequently apologised on Thursday to the House for his "misjudgement", admitting his conduct was "wrong".

Blencathra who holds the position of director of the Cayman Islands Government Office in London, claims he had no intention of lobbying the UK Parliament despite the fact he signed a contract which obliged him to do so.

"I misled myself into thinking that, since it was understood that I would not be making representations in reality, then the wording did not matter," he said.

"But words do matter; I was wrong and I apologise to the House for that misjudgement," he concluded.

Comment: Might this be a strategy to fool the public into believing the UK government is 'cleaning up its act' and to stem the tide of public outrage over the pedophile scandals?

UK government ignored warnings about pedophiles: "There's too many of them"


Virginia congress introduces bill making retaliation against whistle-blowers a fireable offense

Sen. Claire McCaskill
© Lauren Victoria Burke/AP
“Whistleblowers are critical to our efforts to guard against waste and misconduct in government -- and in the case of the VA, against the compromise of patient care,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo
Members of Congress want to fire more federal employees.

From tax delinquents to Veterans Affairs Department senior executives to workers who do not solve audited problems, lawmakers have made clear they think more feds deserve pink slips.

The latest measure, introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., would require VA to fire employees found guilty of retaliating against whistleblowers. Currently, retaliation is a fireable offense, though lesser punishments such as fines and reprimands are also acceptable responses.

"Whistleblowers are critical to our efforts to guard against waste and misconduct in government -- and in the case of the VA, against the compromise of patient care," said McCaskill, a consistent whistleblower champion. "This bill requires the firing of any VA employee found to have retaliated against a whistleblower -- no ifs, ands, or buts -- and I'm hopeful it will be a step in the right direction to change the culture of the VA and ensure our veterans are receiving the highest level of care."